Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Much better!

Phew, my hopes that our run of bad luck is over, at least for now, seem to be realised.

I took Charlie hunting - first time on his own - yesterday. We cheated, as we did have an escort (our kind hunt secretary!) who hacked to the meet with us, but he did not have any of our other horses to nanny him.

Luckily for me, he was awesomely sure-footed slipping and slithering down some horrible little paths for the first half an hour or so, and was unfazed despite my saddle at one point slipping down towards his neck (!).

What Charlie hadn't realised, however, was that sometimes when one is out hunting one gallops - very fast, with several other horses, and (yesterday anyway!) on home ground... :-) he thought this was marvellous and for the first time ever got slightly strong, but his manners overall were impeccable, so I am not holding it against him! We will see how he goes over the next few times, and we can easily change tack (literally and metaphorically!) if need be.

Today was a lovely day - I was trimming horses in south Devon and had booked in to go and see a new horse whose owner was concerned about him. I was only scheduled to go and have a chat to her, but turned up to find a very handsome grey cob, with terribly high heel, long toes and a horrible, wasted digital cushion and frog...

His owner said that she had found his stride shortening over the past few months and he had started tripping and being very reluctant to go forward, culminating in him going lame. I don't normally agree to take shoes off horses then and there, but today was an exception as the horse was clearly unhappy and was only going to get worse if he was left.

I trimmed him, and we spent (as usual!) a long time talking about his diet, exercise routine and management, and then came the moment of truth when I asked his owner to take him out and walk and trot him on the road.

Both his owner and I had the feeling that he was much happier out of his shoes, and it appeared we had got the right impression as he immediately moved off better and actually trotted up level on tarmac. He and his owner have a lot of work to do to build his hooves and especially his digital cushion back up to full health, but he is already (literally!) on the road to rock-crunching hooves.


cptrayes said...

Glad things have calmed down!

It sounds like the cob was well on his way to a diagnosis of navicular and all that entails. Thank goodness the owner sought an alternative point of view.


Nic Barker said...

Yep, the "N" word had been mentioned :-) I hope to be able to post a good report of him in a couple of months...!

Anonymous said...

Hercules, the handsome grey cob in question already seems to be feeling more at ease and on our short hack today he went the best he has for over a year. I have great hopes for the future.

Nic Barker said...

Charlotte, so glad you found us :-) and fantastic news about Hercules - please keep me posted and let me know how things go. You are bound to have ups and downs but he has such basically strong feet that I hope it will not take long for him to recover.

Hope to hear more soon!